Is Google guilty of 'parasitism'?

As Google gives thanks today in Mountain View for the bountiful riches it is accumulating, 400%+ stock appreciation in two years, the European markets it is intent on storming are not joining in Google's Thanksgiving celebrations.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
As Google gives thanks today in Mountain View for the bountiful riches it is accumulating--400%+ stock appreciation in two years—the European markets it is intent on storming are not joining in Google’s Thanksgiving celebrations. 

Jean-Francois LePetit, producer of the the film “The World According to Bush,” has taken Google France and Google Inc. to the Commercial Court of Paris for alleged acts of “counterfeit and parasitism,” according to a Google translation of a statement released by Flach Film today:

Jean-François LePetit (Flach Film) producing of film “the world according to Bush” realized by William Karel, assigns the companies Google France and Google Inc. for counterfeit and parasitism, in front of the Commercial court of Paris.

Indeed, whereas the Producer organized the legal diffusion of this film by video and vod by entrusting it to the platform Montparnasse Editions, Google, via its video site Google France, gives access to film in its entirety and free, being thus placed in infringment with the provisions of the Code of the Intellectual Property relating to the royalties and the close rights.

The film there is accessible by simple click in the form of streaming or remote loading and has, according to same sources' of Google, seen more than 43.000 times in very little time.

Flach Film considers that the essential legal offer of film on Internet will not be able to develop as long as this type of counterfeit and parasitism will remain.

Flach Film, represented by Maitre Olivier Chatel, intends to bring into play the responsibility for Google by estimating that the latter does not act like simple shelterer but like an editor of responsible contents.

This is why Flach Film requests court the judgment of Google to the repair of the undergone damages resulting from these punishable intrigues.

Google is also continuing to do battle in the Belgium courts, as I discuss in “Google not above law, publishes Belgian copyright infringement ruling” and “Google vs. Belgium media: You go Belgium!”:

it had removed from its Google News site content from French and German language newspapers based in Belgium after an association of local publishers won a lawsuit against copyright abuse.

The legal challenge strikes at the heart of Google’s business model, which is based on categorizing and accessing the content found on all kinds of Web sites, including those of news organizations, without paying for it.

Danish media and Norwegian media are also objecting to Google’s business model, according to IDG News Service reports. Google:

was forced to put on hold the launch of its Google News Web site in Denmark last week after newspapers there demanded a system that would allow them to "opt in" to Google's service, rather than having their content trawled automatically, said Holger Rosendal, head of the legal department at the Danish Newspaper Publishers Association.

And a Norwegian media group has written to the search giant, objecting to the way that Google posts thumbnails of its members' news photos. "According to Norwegian copyright law, you are not allowed to use photos without permission from the rights holder, so that's the big issue here," said Pernelle Borset, associate director of the Norweigan Media Businesses' Association.

In “Is Google a threat to world’s ad markets?” I discuss Google’s desire to export its dominance abroad:

Google is dominant online but, as I note in “Google failing to snag $116 billion print, radio, television ad markets,” and “Why Google can’t make it in the real world,” Google’s performance offline does not match its grandiose ambitions and rhetoric. 

On the other side of the Atlantic though, traditional media is beginning to worry.

Google is on track to book more advertising revenue in the UK this year than Channel 4, a publicly-owned broadcaster.

I ask “What does the Google ad future portend?, U.S. domination, UK domination…the world?," But conclude, NO!: 

Omid Kordestani, Google Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, spoke about Google’s international efforts at the Q3 conference call. Color provided suggests Google’s strong UK performance is a one-off, case-specific market scenario.

Google is a threat to the world’s ad markets, but the world has plenty of time to play defense and, hopefully, offense.

European media is certainly playing as hard as it can.

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